55 Nepalis invest in foreign firms
Kathmandu, January 16
At least 55 Nepalis, including a professor, a doctor, a former member of parliament, businesspersons and politicians, have invested in foreign countries, disregarding Nepali law that restricts overseas investment, shows investigations conducted by Centre for Investigative Journalism Nepal and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Many of these people have identified themselves as Non-Resident Nepalis (NRNs). The law does not bar NRNs from investing abroad, but questions have been raised about the source of their investment since they have invested in offshore companies, says the report.
Here is a list of those who have invested abroad:
- Former lawmaker Birendra Mahato, a central member of the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal, has invested in OJSC Amkodor Holding Limited Company in Belarus. The other investors in the company are Niraj Govinda Shrestha, his brother Upendra Mahato and a foreign partner Romeo Abdo.
- Upendra Mahato, his wife Samata Prasad and his partner Niraj Govinda have invested in British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Belarus, England and India. They own Spartley Ventures, Pankur Finance, Tipologia, Moneystar, Amkodor, BNK, Yagyadeep, Yumi Nepal Earthquake Appeal, Nostal Business Corp and Mabel Apparel.
- Ajeya Raj Sumargi has investments in Airbell Services Limited Company of Cyprus. His partner in the firm is Arjun Sharma, who works at Sumargi’s Nepali company, Muktishree Private Limited. “While registering the company in Cyprus, Sumargi has not only violated Nepali laws, but Cypriot laws as well. Citizens of a country who are barred from investing abroad can’t invest in Cyprus,” said Stelios Orphanides, an investigative journalist from Cyprus affiliated with the ICIJ.
- Four members of the Chaudhary family have invested abroad. The Ursine Limited Company has been registered in the British Virgin Islands in the names of Arun Kumar Chaudhary, his wife Shila and their sons Karan and Suryans.
- Rajendra Kumar Kabra and his wife Rekha Kabra have invested in Fragrance Town Limited in the British Virgin Islands. Kabra is one of the investors in Bhrikuti Paper Factory.
- Nawang Dolma has invested in Fix Union Holdings Limited and Golden Cymbal International Limited in the British Virgin Islands.
- Uma Devi Singhania has invested in Silver Retreat Limited Company in the British Virgin Islands.
- Reenuka Pradhan has invested in Rest Park Capital Inc in the British Virgin Islands. This company has two other Nepalis partners—Punam Pradhan and Ajay Prasad Pradhan.
- Bimal Kazi Tamrakar has invested in Himalayan Investment Group and World Distribution Nepal Pvt Ltd in the British Virgin Islands. Bishwa Barsingh Thapa, Nabindra Joshi and Bishwadhar Tuladhar have investment in Himalayan Investment Group.
- Binu Shrestha has registered Belwood Acres Limited in the British Virgin Islands.
- Kishor Rana has invested in Celestial Investments Company in the tax haven Malta.
- Nirmal Shrestha has invested in the KRB Group of Companies in Malta.
- Shyam Milan Shrestha has invested in Sonnet Worldwide Limited and Ilinkage International Limited in the British Virgin Islands. Ashish Rauniyar and Chinpal Rauniyar have also invested in Sonnet, while Khusbu Sarkar Shrestha has invested in Ilinkage.
- Yogesh Lal Shrestha and Menuka Shrestha have invested in British Virgin Islands-based Amkodor Earthmoving Equipment India Pvt Ltd and Maheshwar Softtech Pvt Ltd.
- Vikas Sinha has invested in the United Spirits Limited in the British Virgin Islands. He is seen to have brought investment in Nepal’s famous liquor company, United Spirits, through the tax haven. Aided by Lokman Singh Karki, the then controversial chief of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), the company has exited Nepal.
- Dr Shyam Bahadur Karmacharya and Professor Shatendra Gupta have invested in the British Virgin Islands. Biomedical equipment expert Karmacharya, who is also the owner of Kathmandu Hospital, has registered Surgi Electro Medica Company in the British Virgin Islands. Gupta, who went on to become the chief of the General Practice and Emergency Medicine Department at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, has registered Wonca International Inc in the British Virgin Islands.
- Shashikant Agrawal and his brother Sumit have registered Multi Link Trading Limited in the British Virgin Islands. He owns a sugar factory in Mahottari and Reliance Spinning Mills in Itahari.
- Harish Kumar Todi Agrawal, Bijesh Todi and Bindu Todi have registered Woodstock Universal Limited in the British Virgin Islands. They have also established Jade Knits Pvt Ltd in India.
- Nepali Congress central committee member Rajendra Bajgain, who lost the provincial assembly election, has set up Gurkha Encounters Limited and FNB Publishing Limited in London. The Gurkha Encounters was later renamed as The Himalayan Adventure Limited, which includes Lekhnath Pandy, an NRN, and British citizen Maggie Magwaya as partners.
- Mangesh Lal Shrestha has registered Incessant Rain Company in California. Other investors in the firm are: Sanjib Rajbhandari, chief executive officer of Mercantile Office Systems, and Kiran Bhakta Joshi, a Californian resident.
- Chandra Prasad Dhakal of IME Group had purchased the Sunbird Computer Consultants Limited in the UK and later renamed it to International Money Express (IME) UK Limited.
- Satish Lal Acharya and Bhawana Singh Shrestha have opened Pasa Holding Limited, Square Star Inc, Lacell Holding Incorporated and Leading Faith Incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. Satish’s wife Bhawana is the owner of Sunivera Capital Venture Private Limited, which has a 20 per cent stake in Ncell.
- Rama Malla, the daughter of Rana Prime Minister Padma Shumsher, has invested in Sixteen Upper Brook Street Limited in the UK. Her investment partner is John Morrison Atwater, an American living in London. Malla is the owner of Hotel Malla.
- Minu Shah Chhibber invested in tax havens from 2003 to 2016. She is also linked to the Dubai-based Pearl Global Finance Limited. Minu’s sons Mahesh and Parvesh are shareholders of this company. Minu’s eldest son Parvesh has stakes in Adwani Hotel and Resort of India and more than a dozen companies in the UK. Her youngest son Mahesh, who lives in Burlington Arcade, London, has invested in half a dozen companies in the British capital.